Automakers are slapping as much as $8,750 on the hoods of select models and are also offering zero percent financing during August to clear out 2017 models.
With automakers’ summer clearance sales in full swing, they’re offering some of the richest cash rebates of the year to help dealers manage their inventories in anticipation of the 2018 models rolling off delivery trucks. Our research found no fewer than 50 separate model lines being offered with cash rebates of $2,500 or more; since that’s far too many to list here, we trimmed that list down to 15 cars, pickup trucks, and sport-utility vehicles being offered with rebates starting at $4,500. While models many on the list are being redesigned or at least modestly refreshed for 2018, a few, including the Nissan Titan XD heavy-duty pickup truck (up to $8,500 cash back) and the Volvo S90 flagship luxury sedan (up to $,500 cash back) were only recently introduced.
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Some of the best deals this month are on models that offer a choice of a rebate or a combination of cash back and cut-rate financing. The full-size Chrysler 300 sedan, for example, is being sold with either $5,250 cash back or a $3,500 rebate and zero percent financing. Be sure to run the numbers, but generally taking a somewhat smaller rebate and below-market-rate financing is the better deal unless you’re paying cash. On the other hand, if your credit history is dicey, you probably won’t qualify for zero percent financing anyway, and taking the bigger rebate might help you qualify for a loan in the first place, as it’s applied directly to your down payment.
Note that some of the following rebate deals vary according to region; be sure to check manufacturers’ websites to see what deals may be specific to where you live – and enter zip codes for nearby areas to see if taking a modest drive might warrant a biggest cash back deal.
15. Volvo XC60
Up to $4,500 cash back.
Volvo’s midsize crossover SUV is getting a major makeover for 2018, but if that doesn’t matter to you, take advantage of the still-admirable 2017 model with a big cash rebate. As befits the brand, even the base model comes loaded with safety features.
14. Volvo S90
Up to $4,500 cash back.
The S90 debuted for 2017 as Volvo’s new flagship sedan. It’s loaded with technology and safety features, and though it doesn’t offer a six- or eight-cylinder engine, a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder delivers sufficient thrust.
Up to $4,500 cash back, or 0.0% financing for 60 months.
This is close to an 18 percent discount off the top on Hyundai’s compact crossover SUV, and that’s before whittling down the dealer’s markup through careful negotiation.
12. Jeep Cherokee
Up to $4,500 cash back, or up to $1,000 cash and 0.0% financing for 60 months.
The compact Cherokee crossover SUV should only see modest changes for 2018, which leaves the 2017 model current, and at what amounts to 19 percent off (before the dealer’s discount), it’s an excellent bargain.
11. Ram 1500
Up to $4,750 cash back, or up to $2,000 and 0.0% financing for 75 months.
Ram truck sales are far from hurting, but FCA obviously wants to keep moving the metal to help the 1500 retain its number-two sales slot behind the venerable Ford F-150 in the meantime.
10. Ram 2500 HD
Up to $4,750 cash back, or up to $3,250 and 0.0% financing for 36 months.
The “three quarter ton” heavy-duty Ram pickup truck gets a lightly better deal than the light-duty 1500 this month by virtue of a sweeter rebate/financing combination.
9. Ford Taurus
Up to $4,850 cash back, or 3.9% financing for 84 months.
The full-size Taurus is getting long in the tooth, having gone for several years without a major redesign; the big car market is in the dumps these days, so it continues for fleet sales and for the relative few large sedan aficionados remaining with a big-money cash-back deal.
8. Fiat 500X
(Varies by region) Up to $3,500-$5,000 cash back, or up to $750 cash and 0.9% financing for 36 months.
The Fiat 500X is a stylish and capable compact SUV that’s something of a forgotten entry in what’s become a crowded market segment. Check nearby zip codes to see if you can find a more generous cash back deal if the one in your area is on the low end.
7. Ford Fusion
(Varies by region) Up to $4,650-$5,000 cash back, or 2.9% financing for 84 months.
Ford’s midsize sedan is stylish and a solid performer, though dealers are relying on big-cash rebates to help spur sales as four-door car sales in general are slumping.
6. Lexus LS 460
$5,000 cash back, or 1.9% financing for 60 months.
The flagship LS full-size luxury sedan gets an overdue redesign for 2018 with fresh styling and added features, but it will come powered by a turbocharged V6 engine; pick the current model and the five-grand cash if you prefer a big luxury car that packs a V8.
5. Ford Focus
(Varies by region) Up to $4,500-$5,500 cash back, or 2.9% financing for 84 months.
This is a huge percentage of MSRP back on Ford’s compact sedan/hatchback. Unfortunately this deal does not apply to the sporty Focus RS model.
4. Chrysler 300
Up to $5,250 cash back, or up to $3,500 cash back and 0.0% financing for 60 months.
Though big-car sales are down across the board, the plush and posh 300 full-size sedan is a great deal with these offers, especially the combo cash and financing promotion.
Up to $6,750 cash back, or 0.0% financing for 60 months.
Arguably the best deal on the board this month – over 30 percent off MSRP – the midsize Sonata sedan will be undergoing a makeover for 2018, but taking the current version with $6,750 cash back on the current edition might be the better value.
Up to $7,500 cash back, or 2.9% financing for 84 months.
The full-size Expedition truck-based SUV remains near the top of our list in big cash-back deals in anticipation of a full 2018 redesign. If you feel like a gamble, Ford might sweeten this deal even further in September and/or October as the new models begin to arrive on dealers’ lots.
Up to $8,500 cash back, or 0.0% financing for 60 months.
Nissan again tops our list of the biggest cash rebates with up to $8,500 off MSRP on the large heavy duty Titan XD pickup truck. Despite introducing various redesigned and all-new versions of its big truck line over the last two years. Nissan is still having trouble catching up to the domestic lines and their fiercely brand-loyal buyers.